LightGrey Sungai Buloh  | Current | Real Estate Development


The contemporary commercial project typically markets itself around themes of sustainability, of saving the planet and ecological consciousness with unsubtle associations to environmental awareness and lightly-touching-the-land.

Our vocabulary has become inundated with words designed to persuade and sell rather than objectively speak and simply describe. Too many marketing brochures, developers and designers currently tell lacquered untruths and subtle lies by that which has. We live in the age of green wash.

For some, and an increasing number, change is necessary.

LightGREY is a business development located in Sungai Buloh, midway between the residential neighbourhood of Sierramas and the new Sungai Buloh hospital. With respect to basic form and function, it is a collection of twenty-eight-four-storey shop lots, three which are corner units, with a single four storey mass of a supermarket block nestled among the shop lots.

The project began as recognition of the need for generally upmarket shop houses in the area, serving the community of the gradually burgeoning neighbourhoods of the greater Sungai Buloh district.

Organisationally, the development comprises a lower floor of car parking tucked beneath the main podium level of shop houses served by elevated streets. The shop lot layout employs the traditional five-foot-way of pedestrian access along shop fronts, and access through each lot to a rear service road, with cantilevered floors above for pedestrian shade below.

The uppermost two levels are designed adjacent to courtyards which connect the front and back of each lot, allowing the grace of cross ventilation through the depth of the shop houses at the same time the courtyards serve as light wells and gardens, providing trees, sunlight and shade for each upper floor office.

The lower two levels are designed alone the lines of the typical shop houses, but with the provision of balconies for work or cigarette breaks, morning coffee and basically hanging out.

In the development of its design, basic issues of the practically and function commonly taken for granted were questioned, evaluated and either discarded, redesigned for, or improved upon. The way signage would be best placed for visibility, natural ventilation and daylight within the deepest parts of each lot, the formality of upper floor access and entry and ease of serviceability were developed around the user.

Space air-conditioning compressors and equipment were designed into the architecture, for both ease of maintenance and efficiency of function. The courtyard garden space above, delivering shade and passive cooling for the developments which maximise usable floor area with the production of anonymous tiled and white walled interiors at the expense of gracious work environments. Its textured palette of plant life, growth and decay on cement brick and off formed concrete surfaces, contrasted against mild steelwork and aluminium framed glass windows.

Twenty-eight office shop lofts, cross air flow, courtyards, garden rooms, trees, rain, sunlight and shade - LightGREY - more than a colour, much less of a brand, because some of us simply want more directness in our lives.
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